Matthew, Chapter 22

- מ י ה -

Jesus Explains Which Commandments Are Most Important  

34But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 41While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David.(Matthew 22:34-42)

Jesus explains to the Pharisees that the most important Torah commandments are loving God and loving our fellow human beings. It is not enough to practice technical rituals; it is even more important that we learn to love others as much as we love ourselves. The challenge comes from the fact that we naturally tend to care for ourselves first. Greatness comes from loving others and putting ourselves in their place, something that is not natural to us. Whoever succeeds in overcoming the negative impulses and passions driving them to focus only on themselves will attain a high level of righteousness and merit to see the light. Giving to others is the only thing that truly fills our lives with meaning.

Love is unrestricted, unconditional positive feelings towards other beings.